A lot of the teams that were making solutions at the Jabalpur hackathon over the weekend, consisted of 2nd and 3rd year engineering students. While I could sense that they had a clear understanding of how to make products for specific solutions, they clearly lacked business sense and had a limited knowledge of venture capital.
During the break while the jury members (including myself) were discussing this lack of business sense among engineering students, someone proposed that it would be a good idea for an engineering or business school (with an incubator) to hold a semester long course on entrepreneurship and venture capital.
That solution stuck with me during my train journey to Delhi and I contemplated the design for a course that would prepare students for the world of entrepreneurship. The objective of this course would be to-
- Develop an understanding of the venture capital ecosystem
- Understand how to convert an idea into a viable business
- How to develop cohesive financial models to run viable businesses
- How to use the lean start-up methodology to develop low cost prototypes
- How to recruit mentors, advisors and board members
- When is the right time to seek external funding? How to develop an investor pitch?
- How to approach investors, what to present and how to get their attention?
- An understanding of the terms & conditions of a termsheet, SHA, etc.
- How to build strong initial teams to execute the proposed business plan
I would base this course on real world case studies and engage my students to think about every decision from various stakeholders’ vantage points. That way, when and if they decide to setup their own companies, they will be much better prepared than the students who have no idea about the entrepreneurial world out there.
What would you like to gain from such a course if it were offered during the time you were in college and were interested in entrepreneurship?
If you are in college and thinking about starting a business, what would like to gain from such a course?